For mental health awareness month share with you some facts about depression a common illness worldwide with more than 322 million people affected according to data from the world health organization.
Depression is not just a temporary blues or a usual mood fluctuation and short lived emotional response to challenges in everyday life, it is an illness that often goes undiagnosed because of lack of awareness and stigma. Depression can be mild, moderate or severe and can seriously impair the ability of a person to function at work, school or in the family.
There is no blood test or imaging technique than can give us a diagnosis of depression so we need to rely on the symptoms to make a diagnosis, some of these symptoms are depressed or sad mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to less activity for at least 2 weeks. If you feel you might have depression do not be afraid to contact your healthcare provider to seek treatment.
You are not alone and it can be treated and you can feel better. Treatment options include: medication, therapy and group therapy. Your healthcare provider will help you decide which treatment option is best for depending on the type and severity of depression you have and can help you have an accurate diagnosis which is key to receiving treatment. Say no to the stigma around mental health, because mental illness has a biological origin just as any other visibly physical illness.
Please know that depression is not a flaw of character and it does not have to last forever. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, as you know I’m a physician and while no blog post can replace a medical consult I’m here for you, you’re not alone.
A useful resource is the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression association of America) if you live in the United States. #breakthestigma